Criminalising wild camping? New Government proposals to make trespass a criminal offence could leave riders with a record

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Jon Woodhouse

Jon is the editor here at off.road.cc. Whether it's big days out on the gravel bike or hurtling down technical singletracks, if it's got two wheels and can be ridden on dirt, then he's into it. He's previously been technical editor at BikeRadar.com, editor at What Mountain Bike Magazine and also web editor at Singletrackworld.co.uk. Yes, he's been around the houses.

11 comments

1 month 4 days ago

spen wrote:
Get a sense of proportion people

Are you naive enough to dismiss the (IMO well grounded) fears of various campaign bodies?

Some of us know what a large proportion of landowners are like in this country, many of them would dearly love to use any law - and in some cases use it to justify brute force - to prevent anyone being on 'their' land for any purpose. [IMO it's not actually theirs anyway but that's another story]

If we put aside the rights and wrongs of travellers on private land for now and consider the thorny topic of creating a law as a way to persecute minority groups. We've seen that happen before.

Do landowners really need a law criminalising trespass to enforce their wishes? And it's all well and good saying that mass trespass works but when XR are labelled as an 'extremist organisation', effectively that people who care about the future are in the same category as terrorists, then a trespass law will be another excuse for the authorities to start beating people up and making arrests. And if you think I'm scaremonger, well, we've seen that before too; for me it recalls the Miners' strike but there are other examples.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

1 month 4 days ago

kil0ran wrote:

 

Its incredibly easy to stray on to private land inadvertently. There are a lot of droves near me which run through private land with private tracks branching off. Have been caught out more than once and stopped by gamekeepers/farmers. Usually a "sorry mate, didn't realise, won't do it again" is acceptable enough. I'd hate to see the return, perhaps mandataory, of unsightly "Private Land" signage.

Yet again this is an example of a disproportionate response to a problem caused by a small section of society, in order to benefit another small section of society, to the detriment of the majority. Of course, the Tories have plenty of form on this - remember the Repetitive Beats legislation in the early 90s?

 

This isn't about straying on to private land, it's about groups of travellers in vehicles, not people on bikes, entering and damaging land.  If you pitch a tent and someone asked you to leave, just like if you stray from the path in the woods, pack up and move on. 

1 month 4 days ago

Ok, I'll say this again, this would not pass the reasonable man test if applied to 2 cyclists.

 

Get a sense of proportion people

1 month 4 days ago

Miller wrote:

Ok how many times have you heard of the existing law being used a against cycle tourists?  Sound like you ant to be a victim of  something

 

spen wrote:

 

Strikes me that this change in the law wouldn't affect tourists as it's obviously aimed at people using motor vehicles and under the "reasonable man test" it would be clear that cyclists are not covered.

 

 

How sweet. You are too innocent for the modern world.

 

1 month 4 days ago

spen wrote:

Seems something went wrong there and attributed my reply to this doc

 

Drinfinity wrote:

 

It's obvious because this is a tightening of an existing law and I can't find a single case of it being used against at cyclists.  As I said the reasonable man test would suggest it isn't.

 

spen wrote:

 

 

Strikes me that this change in the law wouldn't affect tourists as it's obviously aimed at people using motor vehicles and under the "reasonable man test" it would be clear that cyclists are not covered.

 

 

 

How is it obvious it's aimed at motor vehicles?

The consultation is a hideous example of leading questions, showing no intent to actually consult.

Criminalising trespass is just that, and is back to the 30s when my Grandma joined the Mass Tresspass.

 

"I didn't think the leopards would eat my face! " says man who voted for face-eating leopard party.

 

 

 

 

1 month 4 days ago

Drinfinity wrote:

It's obvious because this is a tightening of an existing law and I can't find a single case of it being used against at cyclists.  As I said the reasonable man test would suggest it isn't.

 

spen wrote:

 

 

Strikes me that this change in the law wouldn't affect tourists as it's obviously aimed at people using motor vehicles and under the "reasonable man test" it would be clear that cyclists are not covered.

 

 

 

How is it obvious it's aimed at motor vehicles?

The consultation is a hideous example of leading questions, showing no intent to actually consult.

Criminalising trespass is just that, and is back to the 30s when my Grandma joined the Mass Tresspass.

 

"I didn't think the leopards would eat my face! " says man who voted for face-eating leopard party.

 

1 month 4 days ago

spen wrote:

 

Strikes me that this change in the law wouldn't affect tourists as it's obviously aimed at people using motor vehicles and under the "reasonable man test" it would be clear that cyclists are not covered.

 

How is it obvious it's aimed at motor vehicles?

The consultation is a hideous example of leading questions, showing no intent to actually consult.

Criminalising trespass is just that, and is back to the 30s when my Grandma joined the Mass Tresspass.

 

"I didn't think the leopards would eat my face! " says man who voted for face-eating leopard party.

1 month 4 days ago

spen wrote:

Strikes me that this change in the law wouldn't affect tourists as it's obviously aimed at people using motor vehicles and under the "reasonable man test" it would be clear that cyclists are not covered.

How sweet. You are too innocent for the modern world.

1 month 4 days ago

Its incredibly easy to stray on to private land inadvertently. There are a lot of droves near me which run through private land with private tracks branching off. Have been caught out more than once and stopped by gamekeepers/farmers. Usually a "sorry mate, didn't realise, won't do it again" is acceptable enough. I'd hate to see the return, perhaps mandataory, of unsightly "Private Land" signage.

Yet again this is an example of a disproportionate response to a problem caused by a small section of society, in order to benefit another small section of society, to the detriment of the majority. Of course, the Tories have plenty of form on this - remember the Repetitive Beats legislation in the early 90s?

1 month 4 days ago

Strikes me that this change in the law wouldn't affect tourists as it's obviously aimed at people using motor vehicles and under the "reasonable man test" it would be clear that cyclists are not covered.

1 month 4 days ago

Mass trespass has worked In the past. This government seems poised to take us back to the Thirties.